Queen Anne

Queen Anne, the last of the Stuarts, reigned from 1702 (succeeding William and Mary) until her death in 1714. England and Scotland were united to constitute Great Britain during her time on the throne. She bore seventeen children, but only one survived infancy -- and he died at the age of ten. She is described as having few talents (250). Whether she deserved it or not, Anne seems to have developed a colorful image. Just in going through Brewer (54), we discover these revealing titillations: (i) Her nickname was Brandy Nan; (ii) To form "Queen Anne's fan," place a thumb on your nose and wiggle your upward-pointing fingers; and (iii) A favorite Jacobite toast during Anne's reign was to the "little gentleman in velvet," referring to the mole that raised the molehill that tripped King William's horse and led to William's injury and eventual death. Despite all this, she was "identified with cultural stirrings that were later fadishly acclaimed" (118). During her reign decorative arts came to full flower, and Queen Anne style furniture was characterized by well-proportioned, elegant lines and attractive veneers (121), so Bunthorne is at least partially justified in claiming that "the reign of good Queen Anne was Culture's palmiest day."

Act I